by WJS Editorial Board, Sep 13, 2022 in ClimateChangeDispatch
An unspoken truth of the climate-change crusade is this: Anything the U.S. does to reduce emissions won’t matter much to global temperatures.
U.S. cuts will be swamped by the increases in India, Africa, and especially China. Look no further than China’s boom in new coal-fired electricity.
Under the nonbinding 2015 Paris climate agreement, China can increase its emissions until 2030. And is it ever. [bold, links added]
Between 2015 and 2021, China’s emissions increased by some 11%, according to the Climate Action Tracker, which evaluates nationally determined contributions under the Paris agreement.
The U.S. has reduced its emissions by some 6% between 2015 and 2021. Beijing made minimal new commitments at last year’s Glasgow confab on climate, despite world pressure.
S&P Global Commodity Insights recently estimated that China is planning or building coal-fired power plants with a total capacity of at least 100 gigawatts. Those are merely the projects whose development status is confirmed, so the real number is almost certainly higher.
The total U.S. power capacity is some 1,147 gigawatts. One gigawatt is enough energy to power as many as 770,000 homes.
The nonprofit Global Energy Monitor tracks coal-fired power projects worldwide of 30 megawatts or more, including those planned for the long-term.
It estimates that, as of July 2022, China had some 258 coal-fired power stations—or some 515 individual units—proposed, permitted, or under construction. If completed, they would generate some 290 gigawatts, more than 60% of the world’s total coal capacity under development.
Global Energy Monitor also reports that as of July China had 174 new coal mines or coal-mine expansions proposed, permitted, or under construction that when complete would produce 596 million metric tonnes per year.